Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has announced that Israel had severed all working relations with the United Nations Human Rights Council as of Monday this week, and will block a U.N. fact finding team from entering Israel or Judea and Samaria to investigate Jewish settlements.
According to the Israeli government, the council has shown a clear anti-Israel bias, both in the content of its references to it, and its disproportionate attention to Israel’s Palestinian policy, as compared to all the other human rights issues on the planet.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said this “means that we’re not going to work with them. We’re not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe.”
Speaking in Copenhagen, after a meeting with the Danish foreign minister, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said “Israel never cooperated with all fact finding missions that were sent and established by the U.N. to investigate the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.”
The PLO ambassador at the United Nations on Wednesday condemned Israeli settlement activity in a series of letters to senior UN officials.
“There have been confirmations by the UN Security Council and General Assembly, Human Rights Council and the Social and Economic Council on the illegality of all settlement activity in a number of resolutions which are still available, and we are still calling on Israel to respect and implement the resolutions,” Mansour said.
The UN ambassador sent letters to the President of the Security Council and head of the General Assembly, criticizing ongoing settlement building.
Israel is obligated under the Road Map to freeze all settlement activity, Mansour said.
“Israel, however continues directly to neglect and violate all international commitments,” he added.
The ambassador added that settlements are proof that Israel rejects a two state solution based on 1967 borders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week has legalized three Jewish outpost communities which were erected in the 1990s.
At a meeting late Monday, a ministerial committee legalized Bruchin (home to 350 residents) and Rechelim (home to 240 residents) in Samaria, and Sansana (home to 240 residents) in Judea.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reacted by saying, “We don’t think this is helpful to the process. We don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.”
Palestinians and Israeli anti-settlement organization Peace Now slammed the government, saying the government is hereby creating new settlements for the first time since 1990.
Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said that the legalizing ” sends a clear message to both the international community and to the Palestinians that Israel is more committed to land theft than peacemaking.”